Printers see synergy in merger; deal closes after lengthy negotiation process. Price was not shared but new owner says it’s a six figures’ deal
By Stefan Yablonski
Two Port City printing businesses are merging.
Port City Copy Center has completed acquisition of longtime print shop Oswego Printing Co.
“I’m purchasing Oswego Printing Co. and the deal is supposed to be finalized this month [May]. The paperwork is nearly complete,” said Megan LaManna, owner of Port City Copy Center, 115 W. Third St. “Eventually I would like to merge both businesses into one and keep the current Oswego Printing Co. location [412 W. First St.]. Both businesses already use some of the same equipment, so it makes the most sense to merge to keep costs down. And the fact that we share clientele, it would make things easier for our customers to keep one location.”
“I’ve been in business for 10 years,” she said. “Oswego Printing has been in business for 101 years, I believe.”
All current employees will remain, LaManna said.
Brian Kocher, owner of Oswego Printing, said he has worked with LaManna for a few years on a variety of print jobs.
“I know her as a smart and resilient business person,” he said. “I see her as being able to successfully merge Oswego Printing’s type of work into Port City’s.”
The two are similar in the basic nature of their businesses, “but have customers with different types of needs,” he added.
Oswego Printing’s main business is commercial printing for industries and institutions like SUNY Oswego, Oswego Health, Oswego city and county governments, OCO, Novelis etc.
“I know that Port City Copy Center also gets work from these businesses, but the difference is often volume. Port City Copy also caters to the individual, a more personalized approach, filling a niche that Oswego is fortunate to have,” he said.
“I run a quick copy business that specializes in small volumes with a fast turnaround and large format, like technical drawings, renderings, posters and photo prints,” LaManna said.
“Brian and I have had a working relationship for about five years now. He would like to take more personal time and I just had a baby — so it makes sense for us to team together,” she added. “We already share some customers, so it will be an easy transition.”
He will still very much be part of the business and will continue working with his current clients,
She is working “very closely” with him to ensure all pricing stays the same.
“I plan to work for Megan after the sale is complete. Having decades of experience in printing, I will be there to help with transitioning and merging the two types of businesses,” Kocher said. “Megan and I share the same tenet, that great customer service, with quality printing, is key to operating a fulfilling and successful business.”
“We are both owner operators, so we both devote a lot of time to our business and rely on the help of another person in our shops.” she said.
It is only Jim Coniski and Kocher at Oswego Printing. At Port City Copy it is Joshua Gavin-Hall and LaManna. Port City Copy is a certified woman-owned business enterprise.
The proposed deal has been simmering for a long while — “there is a lot to selling a corporation to another corporation. We had our attorneys go over all of the nitty gritty of our businesses, mainly my business,” Kocher said. “That took a while. I also had to grapple with turning over the business to someone new. I’ve been with Oswego Printing for over 50 years, starting while I was in high school, continuing through my four years at Oswego State and thence forth into the now. My degree is in biology.”
So why now?
“This is when we finally got the “nitty gritty” taken care of,” he said.
“We’ve been waiting for the attorneys to do their magic. There was some going back and forth for a little while,” she added.
“Actually, she is buying the stock of the corporation, which is the essence of Oswego Printng,” he said.
“Yes, we are doing a stock sale as opposed to an asset sale. With a stock sale, I am purchasing the whole corporation ‘as is’ vs. an asset sale [which is bits and pieces of the business. ex, a few pieces of equipment and a customer list],” she said. “The price is fair value based on his sales of the past few years and is six figures.”
“Being in the printing business allowed me to make a great career, have a family and enjoy this most perfect of locations, Central New York,” he said.
“The sale price…am I going to buy an island in the sun and schlep off into isolation? Not even a remote possibility for many reasons,” he quipped.